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Universe? Yes. Women? No. Hawking admits ladies are still a mystery

In this Thursday, April 26, 2007 file photo physicist Stephen Hawking answers questions during an interview in Orlando, Fla.

John Raoux/(AP Photo/John Raoux. File )

He may be the world's most famous physicist, but figuring out the opposite sex is one equation Stephen Hawking is unable to solve.

Or rather, when asked in an exclusive interview with British magazine The New Scientist what he thinks about most during the day, the author of A Brief History of Time replied, "women. They are a complete mystery."

It's not exactly the fixation fans of The Big Bang Theory would have expected from their hero, who becomes a septuagenarian on Jan. 8th (a birth date he shares with Elvis Presley, David Bowie and Canada's Sarah Polley).

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But the twice-married Hawking hasn't always made the smartest decisions with his heart – his second wife, and former nurse, was accused by other nurses of abusing him, which became the ripped-from-the-headlines inspiration for an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

So, does he consider his failed marriages to be his biggest blunders?

"I used to think that information was destroyed in black holes. But the AdS/CFT correspondence (a.k.a. theorist Juan Maldacena's mathematical shortcut, the "Anti-de-Sitter/conformal field theory correspondence") led me to change my mind. This was my biggest blunder, or at least my biggest blunder in science," Hawking said.

While the answer to what women want has befuddled famous men from Mel Gibson to Anthony Weiner, Hawking said the breakthrough that will most revolutionize our understanding of the universe is "the discovery of supersymmetric partners for the known fundamental particles, perhaps at the Large Hadron Collider."

Say what? Even if, like the average man, Hawking thinks about sex 19 times a day, he still has plenty of brain cells left at the age of 70 to ponder more important things.

Are women really such conundrums or do men overcomplicate them?

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About the Author

Shelley Youngblut is the Western Editor of The Globe and Mail (and the mother of identical twins). The former editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine, she is a veteran of ESPN the Magazine, and has commented on pop culture on ABC, CTV and CBC Radio. More

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